Mom and I had a whilrwind trip to NYC! We landed late in the day Saturday and hit the ground running.
I tried to put together a pretty comprehensive list of all the things we did. This was our third trip to NYC together and we stayed in a different neighborhood than before so we really got to do some different things.
We stayed at the The Lucerne. At the time, they were running a good special so we were able to upgrade to one of the suites. It was wonderful to have a mini-fridge and coffee maker in the room. We had a little blip checking in, our room was not ready until almost 5pm (checkin was at 4pm). Other than that, the staff was wonderful and we loved the neighborhood we stayed in.
Food and Drink
Nice Matin- This French bistro is attached to the Lucerne and you get a discount on breakfast. We ate there several times and the food was wonderful! We loved the atmosphere, it seemed like a popular neighborhood cafe. Some favorites: Fava bean hummus, pistou, fava bean tortellini, vanilla creme brulee. Great wine list and beer selection.
Teany- We noticed Teany after leaving the Tenemant museum en route to Katz's. We decided to stop there instead; quite a difference as Teany is vegetarian! Lots of delicious tea (of course), salads, soups and a great atmosphere.
Pisticci- This ended up being one of our favorite dining experiences. The restaurant itself was beautiful, the staff was friendly and there was live jazz the night we went (a Sunday). Our waitress was knowledgable and talented- she sang with the band! I got garlic bread with goat cheese and the grilled chicken with arugula and tomatoes and tiramisu for dessert.
Cafe Lalo- The restaurant was beautiful, another that felt like a French bistro. Our service was terrible, although I think it was our particular waitress, English was clearly not her first language. I was so looking forward to a grilled sandwich, but she said they were not available (I didn't understand quite why). But I got oatmeal and yogurt and it was very good. The desserts looked amazing!
Le Pain Quotidien- We ate here during our day at the Met. It's a chain, a lot like a La Madeleine and very delicious! We ate here with my cousin and we all ordered tartines, an open faced sandwich. Mine had grilled chicken, mozzarella, pesto and arugula. A great lunch spot!
The View Lounge- This is the only rotating restaurant/lounge in NYC, so it is a popular spot for an after-theater drink. It is located at the top of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Be warned, it is insanesly overpriced and there is a cover charge after 9pm. You are really paying for the view, which is fantastic. They have a buffet, and you can also do just dessert and cheese.
United Nations Delegates Dining Room- This was a really neat experience. You have to make reservations (we were able to make them the same day) and no jeans or tennis shoes are allowed. There is an international buffet for lunch and amazing views of the East River. The food and service were great!
Sido Falafel and More- Across the street (403 Amsterdam Ave) from the hotel. Yummy falafel!
Amsterdam Gourmet- Next door to Sido. Cheap and yummy coffee, pastries and groceries.
Wicked- We did not have tickets, but thought we'd check to see if the box office had any available Saturday night. They did not, of course. However, we could get in line for cancellations. There were about 12-15 people ahead of us and it was 2 hours to curtain so we figured our chances weren't good but thought we'd risk it. At 7:55, there were still 8 people ahead of us when the box office released a lot of tickets. We all ended up in about 10th row center, amazing seats! The musical was so great, I had never seen it and I highly recommend it. Showing at the Gershwin Theater.
Avenue Q- We had a discount code and bought tickets for this Monday night. Our seats were toward the back, but the theater is small so it was okay. The show is hysterical and definitely not kid-appropriate!
Billy Elliot- Amazing! This was the only show we bought tickets in advance. We missed the first half hour because we (mistakenly) assumed it was an 8pm curtain. I had seen the movie many years ago and the show is a good adaptation. The dancing is incredible! There are 3 actors who play Billy because it's a pretty demanding role. I very highly recommend this show.
Tenement Museum- Really interesting, a glimpse into the lives of immigrants living in tenements. It can only be seen by taking a guided tour and the one we took was called Getting By. Our tour guide was great, we really enjoyed it!
Columbia University- Candace took us on an informal tour of the campus, very pretty!
Church of Notre Dame- Pretty church near Columbia with a grotto.
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine- Gorgeous church, it has been under construction for over 100 years.
Peace Fountain- Next to St. John the Divine, great area with children's sculptures.
Riverside Park and Morningside Park
Shopping in Soho- I hit up H&M for inexpensive clothes and we browsed in Dean and Deluca as well as some of the smaller boutiques.
Metropolitan Museum of Art- I have been to the Met twice before and this time I insisted on dedicating an entire day to the museum. We took a guided tour of Great Paintings: East and West and had a great tour guide.
United Nations Headquarters- Really great tour! The website said the tours were sold out through March, but we went anyway and there were tour tickets available.